What is Bollywood?
Bollywood is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based Hindi language film industry in India.
The name is a conflation of Bombay, the old name of Mumbai, and Hollywood, the center of the United States film industry. Though some purists deplore the name (arguing that it makes the industry look like a poor cousin to Hollywood), it seems likely to persist and now has its own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. Time Magazine recently cited that the Indian movie industry produces over 1000 movies every year—nearly four to five times the output of Hollywood—making it the largest film industry in the world.
Facets of Bollywood Dancing
Bollywood dance is the dance performed in Bollywood movies. Bollywood movies are mostly musicals and contain very catchy music in the form of song and dance numbers typically seen in Broadway musicals. "Songs and dances in Bollywood movies are a mode of indirect expression whereby characters can articulate thoughts and desires which may be inappropriate to state directly." [Tejaswini Ganti, Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema].
The Bollywood dance style is a beautiful blend of all Indian dance styles be it classical Indian dance, folk Indian dance or the more current R&B, hip hop music. Some people love Bollywood dances because there are no defined rules like classical dance styles. Some people love Bollywood because it exposes them to Indian culture. Others enjoy the vibrant music and colorful outfits. Whatever the reason, Bollywood dancing is a small glimpse into Indian culture that everyone should experience!
Bollywood in the Mainstream
Recently, Bollywood influence has seeped into the mainstream American culture especially after the success of Slumdog Millionnaire, a movie set in Mumbai which won 8 Oscar awards including Best Original Score and Best Original Song. Bollywood influences are also seen in American movies (Moulin Rouge, Ghost World, The Inside Man, The Guru, Monsoon Wedding) and music (Black Eyed Peas, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Daddy Yankee, Truth Hurts, Missy Elliot, Pussycat Dolls). Come see what all the excitement is about and experience the vibrant energy and passion of Bollywood!